Joe Biden wants to tax corporations at a higher rate in order to help offset the cost of frivolous spending on things America doesn’t need like bridges, transportation, factories, safe water service, roads and what The New York Times described as “a long list of other projects intended to create millions of jobs in the short run and strengthen American competitiveness in the long run.”
What a waste of what could have been share buybacks!
I was planning to adopt a satirical cadence from start to finish, but it occurred to me that not everyone would appreciate the humor.
If you insist that some of the cost of an economic and societal revamp needs to be offset, then taxing corporations at a higher rate should probably be at the top of the list when it comes to “finding” the money, assuming the corporate tax rate isn’t unduly onerous, which, GOP protestations aside, it most assuredly isn’t.
Readers should note that I’m carrying on this discussion with the caveat that I’m not in the camp who thinks the cost of crucial initiatives must necessarily be offset, especially not in developed economies with subdued measured inflation and the authority to issue reserve currencies.
Read more: Just Print The Money
But, as detailed in the linked article (above), that’s a separate discussion, so I chose to sequester it in order to save myself (and readers) from endless recapitulation over what I’m sure will be multitudes of articles focused on Biden’s long-term economic revival plan.
The proposal is actually two plans, the first of which centers around a $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure push. The main elements are:
- $115 billion for bridges, highways and roads
- $20 billion for road safety
- $85 billion for the modernization of public transportation
- $80 billion for Amtrak
- $25 billion for airports
- $17 billion for ports and waterways
- $180 billion for research and labs at universities and federal agencies
- $300 billion to juice American manufacturing
- $100 billion aimed at retraining the jobless and kickstarting apprenticeships
- $100 billion for the electric grid
- $45 billion for the total removal of lead pipes
- $100 billion aimed at delivering high-speed broadband internet to everyone
- More than $200 billion for affordable housing
- $100 billion for public schools
- $12 billion for community colleges
- $25 billion for child care
- $400 billion for a shelter and care initiative dedicated to the elderly and those with disabilities
- $18 billion for VA hospitals
This isn’t just “about making an investment in America,” Jen Psaki said. And it’s “not just modernizing our roads or railways or bridges.” It’s all of that, but it’s also about “building an infrastructure of the future.”
The plan, generally speaking, is to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and levy a minimum tax on overseas profits, while disincentivizing corporate offshoring and reducing the appeal of booking profits abroad. Additionally, Biden would slap a 15% minimum tax on corporates for reporting purposes in order to (and I’m quoting from Bloomberg’s coverage), “prevent companies from racking up tax breaks to whittle down their tax bill to nothing.”
The IRS would get more funding so tax authorities could conduct more corporate audits. Apparently, there are plans to strengthen oversight of individuals too. Earlier this month, an academic study found that the rich hide roughly 20% of their income from the IRS, costing the government $175 billion annually.
Already, the battle lines are being drawn. Republicans and businesses don’t want higher taxes. “Raising corporate taxes, and others, is kind of a nonstarter for Republicans. It’s kind of a nonstarter for us, too,” Ed Mortimer, the Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of transportation and infrastructure told the Times. “We believe the administration has opened the door for other ideas to be considered,” he added. “Whatever the president lays out is not going to be the final bill.”
On the other side, Progressives think $2.25 trillion probably won’t cut it.
“This is not nearly enough,” one future president chided. “The important context here is that it’s $2.25 trillion spread out over 10 years,” she added. “The COVID package was $1.9 trillion for this year alone.”
Pramila Jayapal was more diplomatic. “It’s not just about the money,” she remarked. “It’s also about the transformative policy that’s going to be incorporated into it.”
“The nation is clearly on the path of one administration enacting legislation and the next attempting to reverse it,” JonesTrading’s Mike O’Rourke wrote, in a Tuesday evening note. “Republicans attempted to reverse the Affordable Care Act and now Democrats are seeking to reverse the Trump tax cuts to pay for spending.”
“Could it pass? Even using reconciliation for a second time this calendar year, it would take ALL Democrats to back it,” Rabobank’s Michael Every remarked, in a characteristically fun note. “Of course, if it doesn’t pass, then all we have is the current sugar high… and then the post-sugar crash.”
“No doubt the plans will spur speculation as to whether proposed spending will lead to markets choking on Treasury supply and if it causes the economy to overheat too much,” TD’s Mazen Issa said Wednesday. “While these are topics that are nice to debate, we don’t think it will necessarily dictate risk assets in the near-term.”
If Biden can pull this off (where “this” means getting even the first part of the two-pronged plan through Congress), it would be a monumental accomplishment, made all the more remarkable by the proximity to the $1.9 trillion virus relief bill and the vaccine distribution effort.
“It would finally deliver on promises made by Presidents Obama and Trump, who both tried to deliver sweeping infrastructure plans during their years in the White House and failed due to broad political opposition to either raising taxes or adding to the national deficit,” Politico wrote Wednesday.
In the same piece, Megan Casella and Tanya Snyder noted that although “officials are emphasizing they will welcome lawmakers’ feedback and input on how best to address their priorities… Biden will not compromise on ‘the urgency of the moment’ and ‘the need to really deliver.'”
(Below, find the outline from the administration and a useful transcript of a press briefing)
Background Press Call by a Senior Administration Official on the President’s American Jobs Plan
MARCH 31, 2021
(March 30, 2021)
8:17 P.M. EDT
MS. SIMONS: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us. This evening, we’re joined by a senior administration official to give you an embargoed preview of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which will create millions of good-paying jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.This call is on background, attributable to an administration official. And the contents will be embargoed until 5:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow, March 31st.
By joining this call, you are agreeing to these ground rules. For your awareness and not for reporting, joining us this evening is [senior administration official].
You should have received an embargoed factsheet providing an overview of the American Jobs Plan. This document is also embargoed until 5:00 a.m. tomorrow.
At the end, we will open it up for a few questions. You can press the “raise hand” button, and we will try to get to your questions.
With that, I’ll turn it over now to our speaker.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks, Emilie. And thank you all for joining. In particular, thank you for who are already raising your hands. You guys are an eager bunch. Thanks for your patience tonight.
So I’m going to — I’ll just try to provide a little bit of context for the announcement that the President will make tomorrow, and then happy to get to your questions.
So, first, just to provide a bit of context here to the American Jobs Plan that the President will roll out tomorrow:
Since really before the President took office, he has been very focused on two core issues: the pandemic — COVID-19 — and the economic crisis. And in the days since we’ve been here in office, we’ve made a lot of progress. We have made progress on vaccinations. We are on track to get to 200 million shots in our first 100 days, doubling the initial target that the President set. And we were able to construct and pass the American Rescue Plan.
And we’ve seen encouraging signs following that passage. Perhaps most significantly, most economic forecasters have now significantly increased their growth projections for 2021 to over 6 percent, which is a rate of growth we’ve not seen in recent memory in the United States.
But the President has always communicated an approach and a vision that rescue was just part of the economic challenge he ran — he ran for President to address, and that recovery and the work of building back better could come not too soon. So that effort will start in earnest tomorrow with the announcement of the American Jobs Plan.
As the President will explain tomorrow, this plan should be viewed as one part of a — of two elements, the second of which he’ll talk about in the coming weeks, both of which are key to his approach to building back better from this crisis.
But the American Jobs Plan is really about focusing on how can we make a historic capital investment in America to improve our competitiveness, create millions of jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, and position our economy to face the crises and the threats we will face in the future, and finally address the climate crisis as a nation.
So I just want to give you — you guys have the paper, and so I’m happy to take questions associated to that, but just in terms of how we’re thinking about this plan, there’s really four key elements.
The first is transportation infrastructure: how we move. This is investments in our roads, bridges, rails, and other elements. This is a place where the urgency and need for action has been clearly identified again and again in Washington, and we now have an opportunity to really do something about it.
The fact that we are ranked 13th in the world in infrastructure has real, tangible economic costs every day. Those delays cost our economy and they cost families.
This plan would make a historic investment in our transportation infrastructure: modernize 20,000 miles of roads, focus on economically significant bridges and also bridges around the country, double federal funding for public transit.
And re- — as we rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, focus on what we — the infrastructure for the future, which includes the electrification of the transport system; a building out and making good on the President’s commitment to build a network of 500,000 EV charging stations around the country; replacing diesel transit vehicles; electrifying the bus fleet; and helping consumers — helping make electric vehicles and clean vehicles affordable for consumers through tax incentives and point-of-sale rebates.
Across all of these infrastructure investments, there will be a focus on making our infrastructure of the future more resilient to climate change and meeting the President’s commitment to target 40 percent of the benefits of these clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities.
A second big category is how we live at home. This is modern broad — modern infrastructure about water, Internet, our homes themselves, and the electricity that we rely on.
With respect to water, the President is setting both a bold but a very practical goal, which is every American should have access to clean water, which requires replacing all lead service lines and pipes in America. Today, 400,000 schools and childcare centers are serviced by lead pipes, even as our health experts say that there is no safe amount of lead in drinking water. This is a national project which is urgent; it’s economically efficient and will create jobs. And it would help improve health and the health of our families.
Right now, you know, we’ve seen in this crisis families who lack access to Internet, lack access to the modern economy. Internet is the electricity of the 21st century. This plan would achieve the goal of universal access to affordable broadband in this decade. We’ve seen in stark terms the impact that our ailing and aging electric power system applies to our economy and to our families, costing families billions of dollars every year.
This plan would do a generational investment in upgrading and reorienting our power infrastructure in this country for the carbon-free electric future that we are — we’re headed toward, investing in transmission, in storage, in grid resilience. And it would invest in building, renovating, and retrofitting more than 2 million homes and housing units, which would put people to work in construction jobs all over the country and also address the issue of housing, access to housing, and people being able to move to jobs and afford housing as well.
In addition, significant investment in repairs of schools, community colleges, childcare facilities, federal buildings, and also our veteran hospital system. I would note that the average VA hospital is 56 years old. There is a backlog of high- efficiency projects that would help increase the health security of our veterans, put people back to work, and achieve an important national project.
The third category of this plan is investing in the care infrastructure of the country by reducing the backlog — the waitlist for the hundreds of thousands of families who seek care for their family member or — who is elderly or a person with disabilities, and by doing so, expand jobs in the homecare workforce.
Today, one in six of our essential healthcare workers — disproportionately women, disproportionately women of color — they’re out there providing the infrastructure of care that so many families rely on to work and to earn a living themselves. One in six of these workers currently work and live in poverty.
This plan would invest in upgrading the infrastructure of this — of this part of our economy, not only creating more than a million new jobs, but also ensuring that those jobs are well paying and can provide dignity to those essential workers.
The last element of this is about investing in our innovation and R&D infrastructure. We’re one of the few major economies where we’ve seen public investment, as a share of GDP, decline over the past 25 years. We’re seeing China and other countries significantly increase their investments. And we have a moment of opportunity now, particularly as we lay bare the vulnerabilities in our own supply chains and technology infrastructure to do a transformational investment in R&D and in domestic incentives to manufacture the innovations that come from that R&D in the United States and all across America.
So the plan includes historic investments in R&D, in clean energy R&D, and providing incentives for domestic production for manufactur — for semiconductors, for batteries in clean energy technologies, and for other areas that we identified as important to American supply chains.
As part of that, it would a major investment in workforce and training as well, including doubling the number of registered apprenticeships to make sure that our — that Americans all over the country have access and can access these innovation jobs in the future.
So, in the aggregate, the way to think about this plan is that it’s about $2 trillion in investment that would principally spend out over an eight-year period. And these are high-value investments, the investments that experts across the board have identified as contributing to addressing deficiencies, improving economic efficiency. And we think that these are investments that, as a country, we cannot afford not to make. At the same time, the President feels that the right and responsible thing is to identify how we could pay for these investments across time.
To be clear, this plan is not assuming or relying on any sort of dynamic scoring for the investment portion of the plan. Instead, it is — we are coupling the proposal for the American Jobs Plan with a Made in America Corporate Tax Reform Plan that would offset the full cost of this plan over 15 years. That plan is centered on making our corporate tax system more competitive and encouraging domestic investment.
Today, we have a broken tax system that was made worse by the 2017 tax law. We’ve seen the average tax rate for U.S. multinationals, in the wake of that law, fall from 16 percent to 8 percent. The average U.S. multinational pays a tax rate of 8 percent. And that law aggravated incentives that were already embedded in our tax code to encourage production and profits to move overseas.
So the reform — that corporate tax reform that the President is proposing would reset that to incentivize job creation in the United States and actually stop the race to the bottom of profit-shifting to tax havens by setting the corporate rate at 28 percent, which I would note is a rate that is lower than at any point in our country’s history since World War Two, other than the years since 2017.
It would also reform how we tax multinational corporations by strengthening a global minimum tax and raising the rate to 21 percent, and ensuring that we’re addressing how other countries tax their corporations so we stop the race to the bottom on corporate taxes.
This and other provisions would raise about a half a percent of GDP per year in corporate revenue, which would, over a 15-year period, fully pay for the investments in this plan. And I would note that over the long term, it — we would — it would reduce the debt because the — those reforms would be permanent.
With that, I will pause and take your questions. I guess the last thing I would just leave you with is: I think that this plan reflects the President’s commitment to recognizing the moment that we are in as an important moment to demonstrate that the United States and democracies can deliver for the people that they serve, and that the stakes of this moment are high, that the world is watching, and that this is a moment where, by moving and actually getting done something that has had broad bipartisan support in the past, we can demonstrate to the American people that the type of historic and galvanizing public investment programs we have had in the past — but have not seen in earnest since the creation of the Interstate highway system and the Space Race in the 1960s — can revitalize our national imagination and put millions of Americans to work right now in work that’s desperately needed for the nation.
So with that, let me pause. And I am hoping that Emilie is going to call on you all because I don’t know how to do that.
MS. SIMONS: Yes. Thank you. I will take it from here and quickly bring it back to you. You can press the “raise hand” button, and we will try to get to your question. I see some hands raised already, so we’ll open it up now.
And just a reminder that the contents of this call are all on background, attributable to an administration official, and the embargo is tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m.
So, first we’ll go to Chris Megerian.
Q Hi, everybody. I was wanting to talk a little bit more about the legislative strategy here. Do you plan to have one bill with both the taxes and the infrastructure spending in there? And also, do you hope to use the reconciliation package to push this through Capitol Hill?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure. Thanks, Chris. So, you know, this is — this is the beginning of a process. The President is going to lay out this plan tomorrow. He is going to describe to the nation the — and make the case for the urgency of the moment. And we will — we will begin and already have begun to do extensive outreach to our counterparts in Congress — Republicans and Democrats — to build on the plan, to listen, to solicit input, and to identify how we can move forward most effectively here. So I think that we’ll get through tomorrow, and we’ll focus on engaging with our congressional counterparts.
But our hope is that the issues — I mean, the elements of this plan are — elements of this investment package are places where we have seen a lot of enthusiasm in the past to make progress. They’re issues that are — that have broad support among the American people. And there has been a lot of eagerness to move in Congress on them as well.
And so we thought it’s an important initiative to start the process with the President being very clear that he’s got a plan and that he’s open to hearing what others think. But what he is uncompromising about is the urgency of the moment and the need to really deliver for the American people and make good on building back better in this moment.
MS. SIMONS: Great, thank you. Our next question will go to Molly Nagle.
Q Hi. Thanks so much for doing the call. I just wanted to follow up on the tax incentives. There’s no mention of the capitals gain — raising the capital gains tax in this proposal. Is that correct? And is that — can you explain a little bit about why that portion that was so key to Vice President Biden’s campaign tax policy is not included here?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Correct, the capital gains is not addressed here. The reason for that is that the focus of this plan is on — is on corporate tax reform and reforming the corporate tax system. And we think that that is important as a matter of fairness and also important as a matter of encouraging domestic investment.
So the focus on corporate tax reform here reflects both the President’s longstanding commitments on the campaign, but also a practical perspective that coupling investments in our infrastructure and improving our productive capacity and our — and the attractiveness of the U.S. as an investment destination, coupled with corporate tax reform to actually address the fact that our corporate tax system today actually affirmatively encourages investment to move out — and profit to move offshore — that doing those things together would actually encourage greater domestic investment.
So that’s the — that’s — that — I hope that gives you some of the logic behind why he will be talking about these two things in conjunction tomorrow.
MS. SIMONS: Thank you. Our next question will go to Jim Tankersley.
Q Hey, thanks so much for doing this. A two-part question; part one is very easy. How many jobs do you guys project this is going to create? And part two is kind of in the weeds, but it says the President will create a clean energy standard in here. Is that executive authority or — is that going to be part of the bill?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So, on the first one, we — this plan will create millions and millions of jobs, and we’ll have more to say about that issue after tomorrow.
On the second one, this is something that we — that is part of the President’s plan and that he intends to work with Congress — work with Congress on. This would be part of the legislative proposal to work with Congress on. That’s on the clean energy standard.
MS. SIMONS: Okay. Our next question will go to Kristen Welker.
Q Hi everyone. Thank you so much for doing this call. Can you speak to some of the, sort of, prebuttals that we’ve already heard from some moderate Democrats, some Republicans, who say, “Look, you just passed a $1.9 trillion relief package. Now the President is asking for another two-plus-trillion-dollar plan. Ultimately, that could jeopardize the economic growth”? These are the arguments. And there are concerns that by rolling back the Trump tax cuts, that could send businesses overseas. How do you address those concerns?
And if I could, to the President’s promises of bipartisanship: If he can’t get Republicans on board with this plan, does that undercut that promise that he made during the campaign?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay, Kristen, thank you. That was somewhere between a two- and a five-part question.
So I will — let me start on the first piece of it. I think it’s important to recognize that there is — there’s a different economic logic behind the Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan. And so, the Rescue Plan was designed specifically to provide relief and to address the immediate economic crisis, and as a result was designed to speed relief to families and businesses, as well as provide support to bolster the vaccination program, get schools reopened, and the like.
This is a different approach; this is a multi-year investment approach. If you look at it, it’s about, you know, 1 percent of GDP. We’re proposing ways to offset that investment across time.
So I think that the — on the economics, we think that there’s a logic for doing these things, because as we are — the Rescue Plan is helping to speed the recovery, bring us back to full employment faster than would otherwise be the case. The American Jobs Plan will help to invest in critical areas where we know that our productive capacity as a country is being set back, and, if we make those investments, will create more and better jobs, will address critical areas that will increase our productivity as a country, and we’ll be able to take on the escalating economic cost that the climate crisis and the increased incidence and severity of extreme weather is imposing on our economy.
So we think there’s actually a compelling economic rationale for moving forward on the American Jobs Plan.
With respect to your question about the corporate tax system, I would just say the facts strongly reinforce that since the 2017 tax cut, what we’ve seen is greater incentive to move profit and production overseas; that the principal impact of that tax bill, in addition to encouraging stock buybacks, was to actually make it easier and more attractive for companies to shift their profits and strip their profits out of the United States.
So we have a more broken tax system that is providing greater incentive to evade the U.S. tax system and to locate production overseas. And so the opportunity is to reform the corporate tax system in a way that would maintain our competitiveness and actually encourage domestic production in the United States.
And on your last question, you know, about Republicans, this is the President’s plan. He’s going to lay it out. He’s going to make the argument for why investing in transportation infrastructure, investing in water infrastructure, investing in broadband — including in rural areas — are all not only commonsense areas where we’ve seen and continue to see bipartisan support and, in fact, bipartisan urgence [sic] — urging that we move forward on them, but they’re also really important to people, to communities all across the country right now.
And he’s going to — he’s going to make the case that he wants to — he wants to understand if people have other ideas, they have other ideas of how to pay for it, they have other ideas of how to structure these. That’s what this process is going to be about. And our hope is that we can advance the process and deliver — you know, deliver for the American people.
His — I think you’ve heard him say and he’ll say again: His focus here is on delivering for the American people. And I think that this — in this proposal you see an approach that is economically necessary, would be extraordinarily — provide extraordinary benefits to people all over this country, and is built on ideas that have had a lot of bipartisan support inside and outside of Washington historically.
So that’s where we’re going to take the conversation starting tomorrow.
MS. SIMONS: All right. And thank you to everyone. We may — do we have time for one more question?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Sure, let’s do it.
MS. SIMONS: Okay, to Josh Boak. If you could make it quick because we are at the end of our time.
Q Sure. Thanks so much for doing the call again. Real quick: When would you expect projects to get started? And does the U.S. have the capacity in terms of workers and material to do this much construction?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So, you know, on your — great questions. On your first question, you know, it really depends, and we need to go through the different proposals and provisions there.
As I mentioned, this — at the top, this is structured as an eight-year investment package. That’s not true for all of the provisions; some of them are designed to be more frontloaded and moving more quickly, particularly those that are designed as incentives, particularly on the tax side. Others are designed explicitly to provide the time to get these investments right.
And, you know, that’s — there are — when you’re doing big — you know, big bridge projects, for example, even in a streamlined way, those are not projects that you immediately get going over the course of a month or two or three. And the planning and the design elements are really important. So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to your question.
But we — but on the material side: Look, part of the economic logic of this plan, as well, is that — and that the President will talk about tomorrow — is that this is not just about infrastructure but it’s about creating more jobs and more industrial strength here in the United States. And so when you make these infrastructure investments and you couple it with the President’s commitment to buy American, what you do is you’re actually pulling forward in creating demand that will help to actually accelerate new industries in the United States — for example, for low-carbon building materials, or for components that go into electric vehicles.
And one of the explicit strategies you’ll see in this proposal that the President talked about as part of his Build Back Better plan is to use the power of procurement, for example, to make large purchases of electric vehicles for the federal fleet. By doing that on a forward basis, even if the delivery timeframe is over a 12-, 18-, or 24-month timeframe, you’ve created a demand pull to actually strengthen the incentive to build domestic capacity. And what that means, ultimately, is jobs and prosperity here in the United States.
So we certainly think that that’s actually a virtue of this — is that by making these investments and prioritizing these projects, connected to a focus on Buy American, we can actually spur more economic activity, more job growth. And that’s an explicit part of the design of the plan.
MS. SIMONS: Thank you so much for your time. And thanks to everyone. One more reminder that the contents of this call are under embargo until 5:00 a.m. tomorrow Eastern, and on background, attributable to an administration official.
Please reach out to me and others on the press team if you have any additional questions. Have a great night.
8:49 P.M. EDT
FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan
MARCH 31, 2021
While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were. This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy. The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China. Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race.
The United States of America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet we rank 13th when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure. After decades of disinvestment, our roads, bridges, and water systems are crumbling. Our electric grid is vulnerable to catastrophic outages. Too many lack access to affordable, high-speed Internet and to quality housing. The past year has led to job losses and threatened economic security, eroding more than 30 years of progress in women’s labor force participation. It has unmasked the fragility of our caregiving infrastructure. And, our nation is falling behind its biggest competitors on research and development (R&D), manufacturing, and training. It has never been more important for us to invest in strengthening our infrastructure and competitiveness, and in creating the good-paying, union jobs of the future.
Like great projects of the past, the President’s plan will unify and mobilize the country to meet the great challenges of our time: the climate crisis and the ambitions of an autocratic China. It will invest in Americans and deliver the jobs and opportunities they deserve. But unlike past major investments, the plan prioritizes addressing long-standing and persistent racial injustice. The plan targets 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities. And, the plan invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy. Specifically, President Biden’s plan will:
Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems. The President’s plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main-streets. It will fix the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction. It also will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, providing critical linkages to communities. And, it will replace thousands of buses and rail cars, repair hundreds of stations, renew airports, and expand transit and rail into new communities.
Deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans. President Biden’s plan will eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in our drinking water systems, improving the health of our country’s children and communities of color. It will put hundreds of thousands of people to work laying thousands of miles of transmission lines and capping hundreds of thousands of orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines. And, it will bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American, including the more than 35 percent of rural Americans who lack access to broadband at minimally acceptable speeds.
Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize our nation’s schools and child care facilities, and upgrade veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings. President Biden’s plan will create good jobs building, rehabilitating, and retrofitting affordable, accessible, energy efficient, and resilient housing, commercial buildings, schools, and child care facilities all over the country, while also vastly improving our nation’s federal facilities, especially those that serve veterans.
Solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers. These workers – the majority of whom are women of color – have been underpaid and undervalued for too long. The President’s plan makes substantial investments in the infrastructure of our care economy, starting by creating new and better jobs for caregiving workers. His plan will provide home and community-based care for individuals who otherwise would need to wait as many as five years to get the services they badly need.
Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future. President Biden’s plan will ensure that the best, diverse minds in America are put to work creating the innovations of the future while creating hundreds of thousands of quality jobs today. Our workers will build and make things in every part of America, and they will be trained for well-paying, middle-class jobs.
Create good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces while ensuring workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers. By ensuring that American taxpayers’ dollars benefit working families and their communities, and not multinational corporations or foreign governments, the plan will require that goods and materials are made in America and shipped on U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed vessels. The plan also will ensure that Americans who have endured systemic discrimination and exclusion for generations finally have a fair shot at obtaining good paying jobs and being part of a union.
Alongside his American Jobs Plan, President Biden is releasing a Made in America Tax Plan to make sure corporations pay their fair share in taxes and encourage job creation at home. A recent study found that 91 Fortune 500 companies paid $0 in federal taxes on U.S. income in 2018. Another study found that the average corporation paid just 8 percent in taxes. President Biden believes that profitable corporations should not be able to get away with paying little or no tax by shifting jobs and profits overseas. President Biden’s plan will reward investment at home, stop profit shifting, and ensure other nations won’t gain a competitive edge by becoming tax havens.
The President’s American Jobs Plan is a historic public investment – consisting principally of one-time capital investments in our nation’s productivity and long-term growth. It will invest about 1 percent of GDP per year over eight years to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, revitalize manufacturing, invest in basic research and science, shore up supply chains, and solidify our care infrastructure. These are investments that leading economists agree will give Americans good jobs now and will pay off for future generations by leaving the country more competitive and our communities stronger. In total, the plan will invest about $2 trillion this decade. If passed alongside President Biden’s Made in America corporate tax plan, it will be fully paid for within the next 15 years and reduce deficits in the years after.
BUILD WORLD-CLASS TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE: FIX HIGHWAYS, REBUILD BRIDGES, AND UPGRADE PORTS, AIRPORTS AND TRANSIT SYSTEMS
President Biden is calling on Congress to make a historic and overdue investment in our roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, and transit systems. The President’s plan will ensure that these investments produce good-quality jobs with strong labor standards, prevailing wages, and a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively. These investments will advance racial equity by providing better jobs and better transportation options to underserved communities. These investments also will extend opportunities to small businesses to participate in the design, construction, and manufacturing of new infrastructure and component parts. President Biden’s plan will deliver infrastructure Americans can trust, because it will be resilient to floods, fires, storms, and other threats, and not fragile in the face of these increasing risks. President Biden is calling on Congress to:
Transform our crumbling transportation infrastructure:
Decades of declining public investment has left our roads, bridges, rail, and transit systems in poor condition, with a trillion-dollar backlog of needed repairs. More than 35,000 people die in traffic crashes on U.S. roads each year, and millions more are seriously and often permanently injured. The United States has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the industrialized world, double the rate in Canada and quadruple that in Europe. Across cities, suburbs, and rural areas, President Biden’s plan will help parents get to work reliably and affordably, reduce the impacts of climate change for our kids, and make sure fewer families mourn the loss of a loved one to road crashes. His investments will use more sustainable and innovative materials, including cleaner steel and cement, and component parts Made in America and shipped on U.S.-flag vessels with American crews under U.S. laws. And, his infrastructure investments will mitigate socio-economic disparities, advance racial equity, and promote affordable access to opportunity.
The President’s plan invests an additional $621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience. It will:
- Repair American roads and bridges. One in five miles, or 173,000 total miles, of our highways and major roads are in poor condition, as well as 45,000 bridges. Delays caused by traffic congestion alone cost over $160 billion per year, and motorists are forced to pay over $1,000 every year in wasted time and fuel. The President is proposing a total increase of $115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair. This includes funding to improve air quality, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce congestion. His plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets, not only “fixing them first” but “fixing them right,” with safety, resilience, and all users in mind. It will fix the most economically significant large bridges in the country in need of reconstruction, and it will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, including bridges that provide critical connections to rural and tribal communities. The plan includes $20 billion to improve road safety for all users, including increases to existing safety programs and a new Safe Streets for All program to fund state and local “vision zero” plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.
- Modernize public transit. Households that take public transportation to work have twice the commute time, and households of color are twice as likely to take public transportation. Our current transit infrastructure is inadequate – the Department of Transportation estimates a repair backlog of over $105 billion, representing more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. This translates to service delays and disruptions that leave riders stranded and discourage transit use. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $85 billion to modernize existing transit and help agencies expand their systems to meet rider demand. This investment will double federal funding for public transit, spend down the repair backlog, and bring bus, bus rapid transit, and rail service to communities and neighborhoods across the country. It will ultimately reduce traffic congestion for everyone.
- Invest in reliable passenger and freight rail service. The nation’s rail networks have the potential to offer safe, reliable, efficient, and climate-friendly alternatives for moving people and freight. However, unlike highways and transit, rail lacks a multi-year funding stream to address deferred maintenance, enhance existing corridors, and build new lines in high-potential locations. There are currently projects just waiting to be funded that will give millions more Americans reliable and fast inter-city train service. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $80 billion to address Amtrak’s repair backlog; modernize the high traffic Northeast Corridor; improve existing corridors and connect new city pairs; and enhance grant and loan programs that support passenger and freight rail safety, efficiency, and electrification.
- Create good jobs electrifying vehicles. U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. The President believes that must change. He is proposing a $174 billion investment to win the EV market. His plan will enable automakers to spur domestic supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to compete globally, and support American workers to make batteries and EVs. It will give consumers point of sale rebates and tax incentives to buy American-made EVs, while ensuring that these vehicles are affordable for all families and manufactured by workers with good jobs. It will establish grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, while promoting strong labor, training, and installation standards. His plan also will replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify at least 20 percent of our yellow school bus fleet through a new Clean Buses for Kids Program at the Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the Department of Energy. These investments will set us on a path to 100 percent clean buses, while ensuring that the American workforce is trained to operate and maintain this 21st century infrastructure. Finally, it will utilize the vast tools of federal procurement to electrify the federal fleet, including the United States Postal Service.
- Improve ports, waterways, and airports. The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors. According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide. Our ports and waterways need repair and reimagination too. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $25 billion in our airports, including funding for the Airport Improvement Program, upgrades to FAA assets that ensure safe and efficient air travel, and a new program to support terminal renovations and multimodal connections for affordable, convenient, car-free access to air travel. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest an additional $17 billion in inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries, which are all essential to our nation’s freight. This includes a Healthy Ports program to mitigate the cumulative impacts of air pollution on neighborhoods near ports, often communities of color. These investments will position the United States as a global leader in clean freight and aviation.
- Redress historic inequities and build the future of transportation infrastructure. The President’s plan for transportation is not just ambitious in scale, it is designed with equity in mind and to set up America for the future. Too often, past transportation investments divided communities – like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse – or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options. The President’s plan includes $20 billion for a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and ensure new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access. The President’s plan will inspire basic research, like advanced pavements that recycle carbon dioxide, and “future proof” investments that will last decades to leave coming generations with a safe, equitable, and sustainable transportation system. And, the President’s plan will accelerate transformative investments, from pre-development through construction, turning “shovel worthy” ideas into “shovel ready” projects. This includes $25 billion for a dedicated fund to support ambitious projects that have tangible benefits to the regional or national economy but are too large or complex for existing funding programs.
- Invest resources wisely to deliver infrastructure projects that produce real results. America lags its peers – including Canada, the U.K., and Australia – in the on-time and on-budget delivery of infrastructure, and is falling behind countries like China on overall investment. Delivering this historic investment will require partnership across government, unions, and industry, to produce meaningful outcomes for the American people – reliable transportation, safe water, affordable housing, healthy schools, clean electricity, and broadband for all. When President Biden managed the implementation of the Recovery Act, he insisted on the strongest possible accountability and transparency measures to ensure public dollars were invested efficiently and effectively. When Congress enacts the American Jobs Plan, the President will bring the best practices from the Recovery Act and models from around the world to break down barriers and drive implementation of infrastructure investments across all levels of government to realize the President’s vision of safe, reliable, and resilient infrastructure. Critically, in order to achieve the best outcomes on cost and performance for the American people, the Administration will support the state, local, and tribal governments delivering these projects through world-class training, technical assistance, and procurement best practices. In addition, the President’s plan will use smart, coordinated infrastructure permitting to expedite federal decisions while prioritizing stakeholder engagement, community consultation, and maximizing equity, health, and environmental benefits.
Make our infrastructure more resilient:
Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. Chronic underinvestment in resilience has harmed American transportation infrastructure, disrupting service, making travel conditions unsafe, causing severe damage, and increasing maintenance and operating costs.
In 2020, the United States endured 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, costing $95 billion in damages to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. In Louisiana, Hurricane Laura caused $19 billion of damage, resulting in broken water systems and a severely damaged electrical grid that impeded a quick recovery. Building back better requires that the investments in this historic plan make our infrastructure more resilient in the face of increasingly severe floods, wildfires, hurricanes, and other risks. Every dollar spent on rebuilding our infrastructure during the Biden administration will be used to prevent, reduce, and withstand the impacts of the climate crisis. Additionally, the President is calling for $50 billion in dedicated investments to improve infrastructure resilience and:
- Safeguard critical infrastructure and services, and defend vulnerable communities. People of color and low-income people are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. They also are less likely to have the funds to prepare for and recover from extreme weather events. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Black and Hispanic residents were twice as likely as white residents to report experiencing an income shock with no recovery support. President Biden’s plan increases resilience in the most essential services, including the electric grid; food systems; urban infrastructure; community health and hospitals; and our roads, rail, and other transportation assets. His plan also targets investments to support infrastructure in those communities most vulnerable physically and financially to climate-driven disasters and to build back above existing codes and standards. The President’s plan will invest in vulnerable communities through a range of programs, including FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program, new initiatives at the Department of Transportation, a bipartisan tax credit to provide incentives to low- and middle-income families and to small businesses to invest in disaster resilience, and transition and relocation assistance to support community-led transitions for the most vulnerable tribal communities.
- Maximize the resilience of land and water resources to protect communities and the environment. President Biden’s plan will protect and, where necessary, restore nature-based infrastructure – our lands, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and coastal and ocean resources. Families and businesses throughout the United States rely on this infrastructure for their lives and livelihoods. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest in protection from extreme wildfires, coastal resilience to sea-level rise and hurricanes, support for agricultural resources management and climate-smart technologies, and the protection and restoration of major land and water resources like Florida’s Everglades and the Great Lakes. Additionally, the President’s plan provides funding for the western drought crisis by investing in water efficiency and recycling programs, Tribal Water Settlements, and dam safety. President Biden’s plan will empower local leaders to shape these restoration and resilience project funds in line with the Outdoor Restoration Force Act.
REBUILD CLEAN DRINKING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE, A RENEWED ELECTRIC GRID, AND HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND TO ALL AMERICANS
Too many American families drink polluted water, lack access to affordable, high-speed internet, or experience power outages too often – all while paying more for those services. President Biden’s plan invests in the infrastructure necessary to finally deliver the water, broadband, and electricity service that Americans deserve. Specifically, his plan will:
Ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities:
Across the country, pipes and treatment plants are aging and polluted drinking water is endangering public health. An estimated six to ten million homes still receive drinking water through lead pipes and service lines. The President’s investments in improving water infrastructure and replacing lead service lines will create good jobs, including union and prevailing wage jobs. President Biden’s plan invests $111 billion to:
- Replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines. According to the CDC, there is no safe level of lead exposure for children. Lead can slow development and cause learning, behavior, and hearing problems in children, as well as lasting kidney and brain damage. President Biden believes that no American family should still be receiving drinking water through lead pipes and service lines. To eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in the country, he is calling on Congress to invest $45 billion in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) grants. In addition to reducing lead exposure in homes, this investment also will reduce lead exposure in 400,000 schools and childcare facilities.
- Upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, tackle new contaminants, and support clean water infrastructure across rural America. Aging water systems threaten public health in thousands of communities nationwide. President Biden will modernize these systems by scaling up existing, successful programs, including by providing $56 billion in grants and low-cost flexible loans to states, Tribes, territories, and disadvantaged communities across the country. President Biden’s plan also provides $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water and to invest in rural small water systems and household well and wastewater systems, including drainage fields.
Revitalize America’s digital infrastructure:
Generations ago, the federal government recognized that without affordable access to electricity, Americans couldn’t fully participate in modern society and the modern economy. With the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, the federal government made a historic investment in bringing electricity to nearly every home and farm in America, and millions of families and our economy reaped the benefits. Broadband internet is the new electricity. It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. Americans in rural areas and on tribal lands particularly lack adequate access. And, in part because the United States has some of the highest broadband prices among OECD countries, millions of Americans can’t use broadband internet even if the infrastructure exists where they live. In urban areas as well, there is a stark digital divide: a much higher percentage of White families use home broadband internet than Black or Latino families. The last year made painfully clear the cost of these disparities, particularly for students who struggled to connect while learning remotely, compounding learning loss and social isolation for those students.
The President believes we can bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American through a historic investment of $100 billion. That investment will:
- Build high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100 percent coverage. The President’s plan prioritizes building “future proof” broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas so that we finally reach 100 percent high-speed broadband coverage. It also prioritizes support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives—providers with less pressure to turn profits and with a commitment to serving entire communities. Moreover, it ensures funds are set aside for infrastructure on tribal lands and that tribal nations are consulted in program administration. Along the way, it will create good-paying jobs with labor protections and the right to organize and bargain collectively.
- Promote transparency and competition. President Biden’s plan will promote price transparency and competition among internet providers, including by lifting barriers that prevent municipally-owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing on an even playing field with private providers, and requiring internet providers to clearly disclose the prices they charge.
- Reduce the cost of broadband internet service and promote more widespread adoption. President Biden believes that building out broadband infrastructure isn’t enough. We also must ensure that every American who wants to can afford high-quality and reliable broadband internet. While the President recognizes that individual subsidies to cover internet costs may be needed in the short term, he believes continually providing subsidies to cover the cost of overpriced internet service is not the right long-term solution for consumers or taxpayers. Americans pay too much for the internet – much more than people in many other countries – and the President is committed to working with Congress to find a solution to reduce internet prices for all Americans, increase adoption in both rural and urban areas, hold providers accountable, and save taxpayer money.
Reenergize America’s power infrastructure:
As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, our aging electric grid needs urgent modernization. A Department of Energy study found that power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. The President’s plan will create a more resilient grid, lower energy bills for middle class Americans, improve air quality and public health outcomes, and create good jobs, with a choice to join a union, on the path to achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $100 billion to:
- Build a more resilient electric transmission system. Through investments in the grid, we can move cheaper, cleaner electricity to where it is needed most. This starts with the creation of a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of at least 20 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines and mobilizes tens of billions in private capital off the sidelines – right away. In addition, President Biden’s plan will establish a new Grid Deployment Authority at the Department of Energy that allows for better leverage of existing rights-of-way – along roads and railways – and supports creative financing tools to spur additional high priority, high-voltage transmission lines. These efforts will create good-paying jobs for union laborers, line workers, and electricians, in addition to creating demand for American-made building materials and parts.
- Spur jobs modernizing power generation and delivering clean electricity. President Biden is proposing a ten-year extension and phase down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage. These credits will be paired with strong labor standards to ensure the jobs created are good-quality jobs with a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively. President Biden’s plan will mobilize private investment to modernize our power sector. It also will support state, local, and tribal governments choosing to accelerate this modernization through complementary policies – like clean energy block grants that can be used to support clean energy, worker empowerment, and environmental justice. And, it will use the federal government’s incredible purchasing power to drive clean energy deployment across the market by purchasing 24/7 clean power for federal buildings. To ensure that we fully take advantage of the opportunity that modernizing our power sector presents, President Biden will establish an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) aimed at cutting electricity bills and electricity pollution, increasing competition in the market, incentivizing more efficient use of existing infrastructure, and continuing to leverage the carbon pollution-free energy provided by existing sources like nuclear and hydropower. All of this will be done while ensuring those facilities meet robust and rigorous standards for worker, public, and environmental safety as well as environmental justice – and all while moving toward 100 percent carbon-pollution free power by 2035.
- Put the energy industry to work plugging orphan oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines. Hundreds of thousands of former orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines pose serious safety hazards, while also causing ongoing air, water, and other environmental damage. Many of these old wells and mines are located in rural communities that have suffered from years of disinvestment. President Biden’s plan includes an immediate up-front investment of $16 billion that will put hundreds of thousands to work in union jobs plugging oil and gas wells and restoring and reclaiming abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines. In addition to creating good jobs in hard-hit communities, this investment will reduce the methane and brine that leaks from these wells, just as we invest in reducing leaks from other sources like aging pipes and distribution systems.
- Remediate and redevelop idle real property, and spur the buildout of critical physical, social, and civic infrastructure in distressed and disadvantaged communities. In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. Through a $5 billion investment in the remediation and redevelopment of these Brownfield and Superfund sites, as well as related economic and workforce development, President Biden’s plan will turn this idle real property into new hubs of economic growth and job creation. But it’s not enough to redevelop old infrastructure. President Biden’s plan also will bring these communities new critical physical, social, and civic infrastructure. This means investing in the Economic Development Agency’s Public Works program (while lifting the cap of $3 million on projects) and in “Main Street” revitalization efforts through HUD and USDA. President Biden’s plan also will spur targeted sustainable, economic development efforts through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER grant program, Department of Energy retooling grants for idled factories (through the Section 132 program), and dedicated funding to support community-driven environmental justice efforts – such as capacity and project grants to address legacy pollution and the cumulative impacts experienced by frontline and fenceline communities.
- Build next generation industries in distressed communities. President Biden believes that the market-based shift toward clean energy presents enormous opportunities for the development of new markets and new industries. For example, by pairing an investment in 15 decarbonized hydrogen demonstration projects in distressed communities with a new production tax credit, we can spur capital-project retrofits and installations that bolster and decarbonize our industry. The President’s plan also will establish ten pioneer facilities that demonstrate carbon capture retrofits for large steel, cement, and chemical production facilities, all while ensuring that overburdened communities are protected from increases in cumulative pollution. In addition, in line with the bipartisan SCALE Act, his plan will support large-scale sequestration efforts that leverage the best science and prioritize community engagement. And to accelerate responsible carbon capture deployment and ensure permanent storage, President Biden’s plan reforms and expands the bipartisan Section 45Q tax credit, making it direct pay and easier to use for hard-to-decarbonize industrial applications, direct air capture, and retrofits of existing power plants.
- Mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers. This $10 billion investment will put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice through a new Civilian Climate Corps, all while placing good-paying union jobs within reach for more Americans.
BUILD, PRESERVE, AND RETROFIT MORE THAN TWO MILLION HOMES AND COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS; MODERNIZE OUR NATION’S SCHOOLS, COMMUNITY COLLEGES, AND EARLY LEARNING FACILITIES; AND UPGRADE VETERANS’ HOSPITALS AND FEDERAL BUILDINGS
There is a severe shortage of affordable housing options in America, and the American Society of Civil Engineers gives our school infrastructure a “D+.” President Biden believes we must invest in building and upgrading modern, resilient, and energy-efficient homes and buildings, including our nation’s schools, early learning facilities, veterans’ hospitals and other federal buildings, and in the process, employ American workers in jobs with good wages and benefits. President Biden’s plan will:
Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings to address the affordable housing crisis:
There is a severe shortage of affordable housing options in America. Millions of families pay more than half their income on rent, and home energy costs are a significant concern for American renters as well. And, across the country, people are struggling to purchase their first home.
The President’s plan invests $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live. It pairs this investment with an innovative new approach to eliminate state and local exclusionary zoning laws, which drive up the cost of construction and keep families from moving to neighborhoods with more opportunities for them and their kids. The President’s plan will help address the growing cost of rent and create jobs that pay prevailing wages, including through project labor agreements with a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively.
President Biden is calling on Congress to:
- Produce, preserve, and retrofit more than a million affordable, resilient, accessible, energy efficient, and electrified housing units. Through targeted tax credits, formula funding, grants, and project-based rental assistance, President Biden’s plan will extend affordable housing rental opportunities to underserved communities nationwide, including rural and tribal areas.
- Build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers. President Biden is calling on Congress to take immediate steps to spur the construction and rehabilitation of homes for underserved communities. Specifically, he is calling on Congress to pass the innovative, bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA). Offering $20 billion worth of NHIA tax credits over the next five years will result in approximately 500,000 homes built or rehabilitated, creating a pathway for more families to buy a home and start building wealth.
- Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. For decades, exclusionary zoning laws – like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements, and prohibitions on multifamily housing – have inflated housing and construction costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities. President Biden is calling on Congress to enact an innovative, new competitive grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take concrete steps to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing.
- Address longstanding public housing capital needs. Years of disinvestment have left our public housing in disrepair. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $40 billion to improve the infrastructure of the public housing system in America. This funding will address critical life-safety concerns, mitigate imminent hazards to residents, and undertake energy efficiency measures which will significantly reduce ongoing operating expenses. These improvements will disproportionately benefit women, people of color, and people with disabilities.
- Put union building trade workers to work upgrading homes and businesses to save families money. President Biden’s plan will upgrade homes through block grant programs, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and by extending and expanding home and commercial efficiency tax credits. President Biden’s plan also will establish a $27 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to mobilize private investment into distributed energy resources; retrofits of residential, commercial and municipal buildings; and clean transportation. These investments have a particular focus on disadvantaged communities that have not yet benefited from clean energy investments.
Modernize our nation’s schools and early learning facilities:
Too many students attend schools and child care centers that are run-down, unsafe, and pose health risks. These conditions are dangerous for our kids and exist disproportionately in schools with a high percentage of low-income students and students of color. And even before COVID-19, 43 percent of parents reported struggling to find an adequate child care facility for their children. President Biden is calling on Congress to:
- Modernize our public schools. President Biden believes we can’t close the opportunity gap if low-income kids go to schools in buildings that undermine health and safety, while wealthier students get access to safe buildings with labs and technology that prepare them for the jobs of the future. The President’s plan invests $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools, through $50 billion in direct grants and an additional $50 billion leveraged through bonds. These funds will first go toward making sure our schools are safe and healthy places of learning for our kids and work for teachers and other education professionals, for example by improving indoor air quality and ventilation. As we make our schools safer, we also will invest in cutting-edge, energy-efficient and electrified, resilient, and innovative school buildings with technology and labs that will help our educators prepare students to be productive workers and valued students. Under the President’s plan, better operating school facilities will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and also will become environments of community resilience with green space, clean air, and safe places to gather, especially during emergencies. Funds also will be provided to improve our school kitchens, so they can be used to better prepare nutritious meals for our students and go green by reducing or eliminating the use of paper plates and other disposable materials.
- Investing in community college infrastructure. Investing in community college facilities and technology helps protect the health and safety of students and faculty, address education deserts (particularly for rural communities), grow local economies, improve energy efficiency and resilience, and narrow funding inequities in the short-term, as we rebuild our higher education finance system for the long-run. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $12 billion to address these needs. States will be responsible for using the dollars to address both existing physical and technological infrastructure needs at community colleges and identifying strategies to address access to community college in education deserts.
- Upgrade child care facilities and build new supply in high need areas. Lack of access to child care makes it harder for parents, especially mothers, to fully participate in the workforce. In areas with the greatest shortage of child care slots, women’s labor force participation is about three percentage points less than in areas with a high capacity of child care slots, hurting families and hindering U.S. growth and competitiveness. President Biden is calling on Congress to provide $25 billion to help upgrade child care facilities and increase the supply of child care in areas that need it most. Funding would be provided through a Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund for states to build a supply of infant and toddler care in high-need areas. President Biden also is calling for an expanded tax credit to encourage businesses to build child care facilities at places of work. Employers will receive 50 percent of the first $1 million of construction costs per facility so that employees can enjoy the peace of mind and convenience that comes with on-site child care. These investments will provide safe, accessible, energy efficient, high-quality learning environments for providers to teach and care for children. Public investments in schools and childcare improves children’s outcomes—the foundation for future productivity gains. In classrooms with poor ventilation, for example, student absences are 10 to 20 percent higher.
Upgrade VA hospitals and federal buildings:
The federal government operates office buildings, courthouses, and other facilities in every state, where millions of workers serve the public from outdated, inefficient, and sometimes unsafe working conditions. While the median age of U.S. private sector hospitals is roughly 11 years, the Veterans Affairs’ hospital portfolio has a median age of 58. The President believes our veterans deserve state-of-the-art hospitals and care. President Biden’s plan provides $18 billion for the modernization of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics. President Biden’s plan also invests $10 billion in the modernization, sustainability, and resilience of federal buildings, including through a bipartisan Federal Capital Revolving Fund to support investment in a major purchase, construction or renovation of Federal facilities. And, President Biden’s plan utilizes the vast tools of federal procurement to purchase low carbon materials for construction and clean power for these newly constructed VA hospitals and federal buildings.
SOLIDIFY THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF OUR CARE ECONOMY BY CREATING JOBS AND RAISING WAGES AND BENEFITS FOR ESSENTIAL HOME CARE WORKERS
Even before COVID-19, our country was in the midst of a caregiving crisis. In addition to caring for children, families feel the financial burden of caring for aging relatives and family members with disabilities, and there is a financial strain for people with disabilities living independently to ensure that they are getting care in their homes. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of people who need better care are unable to access it, even though they qualify under Medicaid. In fact, it can take years for these individuals to get the services they badly need. Aging relatives and people with disabilities deserve better. They deserve high-quality services and support that meet their unique needs and personal choices.
Caregivers – who are disproportionally women of color – have been underpaid and undervalued for far too long. Wages for essential home care workers are approximately $12 per hour, putting them among the lowest paid workers in our economy. In fact, one in six workers in this sector live in poverty. President Biden is calling on Congress to make substantial investments in the infrastructure of care in our country. Specifically, he is calling on Congress to put $400 billion toward expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities. These investments will help hundreds of thousands of Americans finally obtain the long-term services and support they need, while creating new jobs and offering caregiving workers a long-overdue raise, stronger benefits, and an opportunity to organize or join a union and collectively bargain. Research shows that increasing the pay of direct care workers greatly enhances workers’ financial security, improves productivity, and increases the quality of care offered. Another study showed that increased pay for care workers prevented deaths, reduced the number of health violations, and lowered the cost of preventative care.
President Biden’s plan will:
- Expand access to long-term care services under Medicaid. President Biden believes more people should have the opportunity to receive care at home, in a supportive community, or from a loved one. President Biden’s plan will expand access to home and community-based services (HCBS) and extend the longstanding Money Follows the Person program that supports innovations in the delivery of long-term care.
- Put in place an infrastructure to create good middle-class jobs with a free and fair choice to join a union. The HCBS expansion under Medicaid can support well-paying caregiving jobs that include benefits and the ability to collectively bargain, building state infrastructure to improve the quality of services and to support workers. This will improve wages and quality of life for essential home health workers and yield significant economic benefits for low-income communities and communities of color.
INVEST IN R&D, REVITALIZE MANUFACTURING AND SMALL BUSINESSES, AND TRAIN AMERICANS FOR THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE
Half the jobs in our high growth, high wage sectors are concentrated in just 41 counties, locking millions of Americans out of a shot at a middle-class job. President Biden believes that, even in the face of automation and globalization, America can and must retain well-paid union jobs and create more of them all across the country. U.S. manufacturing was the Arsenal of Democracy in World War II and must be part of the Arsenal of American Prosperity today, helping fuel an economic recovery for working families. From the invention of the semiconductor to the creation of the Internet, new engines of economic growth have emerged due to public investments that support research, commercialization, and strong supply chains. President Biden is calling on Congress to make smart investments in research and development, manufacturing and regional economic development, and in workforce development to give our workers and companies the tools and training they need to compete on the global stage. Specifically, President Biden is calling on Congress to:
Invest in R&D and the technologies of the future:
Public investments in R&D lay the foundation for the future breakthroughs that over time yield new businesses, new jobs, and more exports. However, we need more investment if we want to maintain our economic edge in today’s global economy. We are one of the few major economies whose public investments in research and development have declined as a percent of GDP in the past 25 years. Countries like China are investing aggressively in R&D, and China now ranks number two in the world in R&D expenditures. In addition, barriers to careers in high-innovation sectors remain significant. We must do more to improve access to the higher wage sectors of our economy. In order to win the 21st century economy, President Biden believes America must get back to investing in the researchers, laboratories, and universities across our nation. But this time, we must do so with a commitment to lifting up workers and regions who were left out of past investments. He is calling on Congress to make an $180 billion investment that will:
- Advance U.S. leadership in critical technologies and upgrade America’s research infrastructure. U.S. leadership in new technologies—from artificial intelligence to biotechnology to computing—is critical to both our future economic competitiveness and our national security. Based on bipartisan proposals, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $50 billion in the National Science Foundation (NSF), creating a technology directorate that will collaborate with and build on existing programs across the government. It will focus on fields like semiconductors and advanced computing, advanced communications technology, advanced energy technologies, and biotechnology. He also is calling on Congress to provide $30 billion in additional funding for R&D that spurs innovation and job creation, including in rural areas. His plan also will invest $40 billion in upgrading research infrastructure in laboratories across the country, including brick-and-mortar facilities and computing capabilities and networks. These funds would be allocated across the federal R&D agencies, including at the Department of Energy. Half of those funds will be reserved for Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions, including the creation of a new national lab focused on climate that will be affiliated with an HBCU.
- Establish the United States as a leader in climate science, innovation, and R&D. The President is calling on Congress to invest $35 billion in the full range of solutions needed to achieve technology breakthroughs that address the climate crisis and position America as the global leader in clean energy technology and clean energy jobs. This includes launching ARPA-C to develop new methods for reducing emissions and building climate resilience, as well as expanding across-the-board funding for climate research. In addition to a $5 billion increase in funding for other climate-focused research, his plan will invest $15 billion in demonstration projects for climate R&D priorities, including utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, rare earth element separations, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, quantum computing, and electric vehicles, as well as strengthening U.S. technological leadership in these areas in global markets.
- Eliminate racial and gender inequities in research and development and science, technology, engineering, and math. Discrimination leads to less innovation: one study found that innovation in the United States will quadruple if women, people of color, and children from low-income families invented at the rate of groups who are not held back by discrimination and structural barriers. Persistent inequities in access to R&D dollars and to careers in innovation industries prevents the U.S. economy from reaching its full potential. President Biden is calling on Congress to make a $10 billion R&D investment at HBCUs and other MSIs. He also is calling on Congress to invest $15 billion in creating up to 200 centers of excellence that serve as research incubators at HBCUs and other MSIs to provide graduate fellowships and other opportunities for underserved populations, including through pre-college programs.
Retool and revitalize American manufacturers and small businesses:
The U.S. manufacturing sector accounts for 70 percent of business R&D expenditure, 30 percent of productivity growth, and 60 percent of exports. Manufacturing is a critical node that helps convert research and innovation into sustained economic growth. Workers on the factory floor work hand-in-hand with engineers and scientists to sharpen and maintain our competitive edge. While manufacturing jobs have been a ladder to middle-class life, we have let our industrial heartland be hollowed out, with quality jobs moving abroad or to regions with lower wages and fewer protections for workers. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $300 billion in order to:
- Strengthen manufacturing supply chains for critical goods. President Biden believes we must produce, here at home, the technologies and goods that meet today’s challenges and seize tomorrow’s opportunities. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $50 billion to create a new office at the Department of Commerce dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity and funding investments to support production of critical goods. The President also is calling on Congress to invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research, as called for in the bipartisan CHIPS Act.
- Protect Americans from future pandemics. This funding provides $30 billion over 4 years to create U.S. jobs and prevent the severe job losses caused by pandemics through major new investments in medical countermeasures manufacturing; research and development; and related biopreparedness and biosecurity. This includes investments to shore up our nation’s strategic national stockpile; accelerate the timeline to research, develop and field tests and therapeutics for emerging and future outbreaks; accelerate response time by developing prototype vaccines through Phase I and II trials, test technologies for the rapid scaling of vaccine production, and ensure sufficient production capacity in an emergency; enhance U.S. infrastructure for biopreparedness and investments in biosafety and biosecurity; train personnel for epidemic and pandemic response; and onshore active pharmaceutical ingredients. COVID-19 has claimed over 500,000 American lives and cost trillions of dollars, demonstrating the devastating and increasing risk of pandemics and other biological threats. Over the past two decades, outbreaks of SARS, Ebola, influenza, Zika and others have cost billions in lost productivity. The risk of catastrophic biological threats is increasing due to our interconnected world, heightened risk of spillover from animals to humans, ease of making and modifying pandemic agents, and an eroding norm against the development and use of biological weapons. The American Rescue Plan serves as an initial investment of $10 billion. With this new major investment in preventing future pandemics, the United States will build on the momentum from the American Rescue Plan, bolster scientific leadership, create jobs, markedly decrease the time from discovering a new threat to putting shots in arms, and prevent future biological catastrophes.
- Jumpstart clean energy manufacturing through federal procurement. The federal government spends more than a half-a-trillion dollars buying goods and services each year. As a result, it has the ability to be a first-mover in markets. This incredible purchasing power can be used to drive innovation and clean energy production, as well as to support high quality jobs. To meet the President’s goals of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the United States will need more electric vehicles, charging ports, and electric heat pumps for residential heating and commercial buildings. The President is calling on Congress to enable the manufacture of those cars, ports, pumps, and clean materials, as well as critical technologies like advanced nuclear reactors and fuel, here at home through a $46 billion investment in federal buying power, creating good-paying jobs and reinvigorating local economies, especially in rural areas.
- Make it in ALL of America. The President believes we must build social infrastructure to support innovation and productivity across the country. He is calling on Congress to invest $20 billion in regional innovation hubs and a Community Revitalization Fund. At least ten regional innovation hubs will leverage private investment to fuel technology development, link urban and rural economies, and create new businesses in regions beyond the current handful of high-growth centers. The Community Revitalization Fund will support innovative, community-led redevelopment projects that can spark new economic activity, provide services and amenities, build community wealth, and close the current gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color and rural communities that have suffered from years of disinvestment. And, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $14 billion in NIST to bring together industry, academia, and government to advance technologies and capabilities critical to future competitiveness. He is calling on Congress to quadruple support for the Manufacturing Extensions Partnership —increasing the involvement of minority-owned and rurally-located small- and-medium-sized enterprises in technological advancement.
- Increase access to capital for domestic manufacturers. America’s manufacturing industry needs to innovate, adapt, and scale to win the industries of the future. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest more than $52 billion in domestic manufacturers. The President is calling on Congress to invest in existing capital access programs with a proven track record of success, with a focus on supporting rural manufacturing and clean energy. The President’s plan also includes specific supports for modernizing supply chains, including in the auto sector, like extending the 48C tax credit program. He also will call for the creation of a new financing program to support debt and equity investments for manufacturing to strengthen the resilience of America’s supply chains.
- Create a national network of small business incubators and innovation hubs. Almost all manufacturers (98 percent) are small- and medium-sized firms. Furthermore, small business ownership is a cornerstone of job creation and wealth building. However, even before the pandemic, many entrepreneurs struggled to compete in a system that is so often tilted in favor of large corporations and wealthy individuals. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $31 billion in programs that give small businesses access to credit, venture capital, and R&D dollars. The proposal includes funding for community-based small business incubators and innovation hubs to support the growth of entrepreneurship in communities of color and underserved communities.
- Partner with rural and Tribal communities to create jobs and economic growth in rural America. Today, despite the fact that rural and Tribal communities across the country are asset-rich, more than 8 in 10 persistent poverty counties fall outside of a metropolitan area. President Biden’s plan invests in rural and Tribal communities, including by providing 100 percent broadband coverage, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure like roads, bridges, and water systems, providing research and development funding to land grant universities, and positioning the U.S. agricultural sector to lead the shift to net-zero emissions while providing new economic opportunities for farmers. President Biden also is proposing to transform the way the federal government partners with rural and Tribal communities to create jobs and spur inclusive economic growth. Rural communities often don’t have the same budget as big cities to hire staff needed to navigate and access federal programs. On top of that, they have to navigate a myriad of programs all with different purposes and requirements. As part of his plan to ensure that all communities recover – regardless of geography – President Biden is proposing a $5 billion for a new Rural Partnership Program to help rural regions, including Tribal Nations, build on their unique assets and realize their vision for inclusive community and economic development. This program will empower rural regions by supporting locally-led planning and capacity building efforts, and providing flexible funding to meet critical needs.
Invest in Workforce Development:
As more Americans rejoin the workforce or seek out new opportunities in a changing economy, there is a greater need for skills development opportunities for workers of all kind. In order to ensure workers have ready access to the skills they will need to succeed, and to improve racial and gender equity, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $100 billion in proven workforce development programs targeted at underserved groups and getting our students on paths to careers before they graduate from high school. His plan will:
- Pair job creation efforts with next generation training programs. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest in evidence-based approaches to supporting workers. This includes wraparound services, income supports, counseling, and case management, paired with high-quality training and effective partnerships between educational institutions, unions, and employers. Specifically, he is calling for a $40 billion investment in a new Dislocated Workers Program and sector-based training. This funding will ensure comprehensive services for workers, who have lost jobs through no fault of their own, to gain new skills and to get career services they need with in-demand jobs. Sector-based training programs will be focused on growing, high demand sectors such as clean energy, manufacturing, and caregiving, helping workers of all kinds to find good-quality jobs in an ever-changing economy.
- Target workforce development opportunities in underserved communities. Structural racism and persistent economic inequities have undermined opportunity for millions of workers. All of the investments in workforce training will prioritize underserved communities and communities hit hard by a transforming economy. President Biden also will call upon Congress to ensure that new jobs created in clean energy, manufacturing, and infrastructure are open and accessible to women and people of color. President Biden is calling on Congress to also specifically target funding to workers facing some of the greatest challenges, with a $12 billion investment. This includes $5 billion over eight years in support of evidence-based community violence prevention programs. He is calling on Congress to invest in job training for formerly incarcerated individuals and justice-involved youth and in improving public safety. He also is calling on Congress to tackle long-term unemployment and underemployment through a new subsidized jobs program. And, he is calling on Congress to eliminate sub-minimum wage provisions in section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and expand access to competitive, integrated employment opportunities and fair wages for workers with disabilities.
- Build the capacity of the existing workforce development and worker protection systems. The United States has underinvested in the workforce development system for decades. In fact, we currently spend just one-fifth of the average that other advanced economies spend on workforce and labor market programs. This lack of investment impacts all of us: better educated workers create spillover effects for other workers and lack of employment has negative social impacts on communities. President Biden is calling on Congress to invest a combined $48 billion in American workforce development infrastructure and worker protection. This includes registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships, creating one to two million new registered apprenticeships slots, and strengthening the pipeline for more women and people of color to access these opportunities through successful pre-apprenticeship programs such as the Women in Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Occupations. This will ensure these underserved groups have greater access to new infrastructure jobs. These investments include the creation of career pathway programs in middle and high schools, prioritizing increased access to computer science and high-quality career and technical programs that connect underrepresented students to STEM and in-demand sectors through partnerships with both institutions of higher education and employers. The President’s plan also will support community college partnerships that build capacity to deliver job training programs based on in-demand skills. His plan will better tailor services to workers’ job seeking and career development needs through investments in Expanded Career Services and the Title II adult literacy program. The President’s plan includes funding to strengthen the capacity of our labor enforcement agencies to protect against discrimination, protect wages and benefits, enforce health and safety safeguards, strengthen health care and pensions plans, and promote union organizing and collective bargaining.
CREATE GOOD-QUALITY JOBS THAT PAY PREVAILING WAGES IN SAFE AND HEALTHY WORKPLACES WHILE ENSURING WORKERS HAVE A FREE AND FAIR CHOICE TO ORGANIZE, JOIN A UNION, AND BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY WITH THEIR EMPLOYERS
As America works to recover from the devastating challenges of a deadly pandemic, an economic crisis, and a reckoning on race that reveals deep disparities, we need to summon a new wave of worker power to create an economy that works for everyone. We owe it not only to those who have put in a lifetime of work, but to the next generation of workers who have only known an America of rising inequality and shrinking opportunity. This is especially important for workers of color and for women, who have endured discrimination and systematic exclusion from economic opportunities for generations. All of us deserve to enjoy America’s promise in full — and our nation’s leaders have a responsibility to overcome racial, gender, and other inequalities to make it happen. To that end, the President is calling on Congress to create new, good-quality union jobs for American workers by leveraging their grit and ingenuity to address the climate crisis and build a sustainable infrastructure. Increased unionization can alsoimpact our economic growth overall by improving productivity. President Biden’s plan will:
- Empower Workers. President Biden is calling on Congress to update the social contract that provides workers with a fair shot to get ahead, overcome racial and other inequalities that have been barriers for too many Americans, expand the middle class, and strengthen communities. He is calling on Congress to ensure all workers have a free and fair choice to join a union by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and guarantee union and bargaining rights for public service workers. His plan also ensures domestic workers receive the legal benefits and protections they deserve and tackles pay inequities based on gender.
- Create good jobs. The President’s plan demands that employers benefitting from these investments follow strong labor standards and remain neutral when their employees seek to organize a union and bargain collectively. He is asking Congress to tie federal investments in clean energy and infrastructure to prevailing wages and require transportation investments to meet existing transit labor protections. He also is calling for investments tied to Project Labor, Community Workforce, local hire, and registered apprenticeships and other labor or labor-management training programs so that federal investments support good jobs and pathways to the middle class. Finally, he is asking Congress to include a commitment to increasing American jobs through Buy America and Ship American provisions.
- Protect workers. President Biden is calling on Congress to provide the federal government with the tools it needs to ensure employers are providing workers with good jobs – including jobs with fair and equal pay, safe and healthy workplaces, and workplaces free from racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination and harassment. In addition to a $10 billion investment in enforcement as part of the plan’s workforce proposals, the President is calling for increased penalties when employers violate workplace safety and health rules.
THE MADE IN AMERICA TAX PLAN
Alongside the American Jobs Plan, the President is proposing to fix the corporate tax code so that it incentivizes job creation and investment here in the United States, stops unfair and wasteful profit shifting to tax havens, and ensures that large corporations are paying their fair share.
The 2017 tax law only made an unfair system worse. A recent independent study found that 91 Fortune 500 companies paid $0 in federal corporate taxes on U.S. income in 2018. In fact, according to recent analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the 2017 tax bill cut the average rate that corporations paid in half from 16 percent to less than 8 percent in 2018. A number of the provisions in the 2017 law also created new incentives to shift profits and jobs overseas. President Biden’s reform will reverse this damage and fundamentally reform the way the tax code treats the largest corporations.
President Biden’s reform will also make the United States a leader again in the world and help bring an end to the race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax rates that allows countries to gain a competitive advantage by becoming tax havens. This is a generational opportunity to fundamentally shift how countries around the world tax corporations so that big corporations can’t escape or eliminate the taxes they owe by offshoring jobs and profits from the United States.
Together these corporate tax changes will raise over $2 trillion over the next 15 years and more than pay for the mostly one-time investments in the American Jobs Plan and then reduce deficits on a permanent basis:
- Set the Corporate Tax Rate at 28 percent. The President’s tax plan will ensure that corporations pay their fair share of taxes by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent. His plan will return corporate tax revenue as a share of the economy to around its 21st century average from before the 2017 tax law and well below where it stood before the 1980s. This will help fund critical investments in infrastructure, clean energy, R&D, and more to maintain the competitiveness of the United States and grow the economy.
- Discourage Offshoring by Strengthening the Global Minimum Tax for U.S. Multinational Corporations. Right now, the tax code rewards U.S. multinational corporations that shift profits and jobs overseas with a tax exemption for the first ten percent return on foreign assets, and the rest is taxed at half the domestic tax rate. Moreover, the 2017 tax law allows companies to use the taxes they pay in high-tax countries to shield profits in tax havens, encouraging offshoring of jobs. The President’s tax reform proposal will increase the minimum tax on U.S. corporations to 21 percent and calculate it on a country-by-country basis so it hits profits in tax havens. It will also eliminate the rule that allows U.S. companies to pay zero taxes on the first 10 percent of return when they locate investments in foreign countries. By creating incentives for investment here in the United States, we can reward companies that help to grow the U.S. economy and create a more level playing field between domestic companies and multinationals.
- End the Race to the Bottom Around the World. The United States can lead the world to end the race to the bottom on corporate tax rates. A minimum tax on U.S. corporations alone is insufficient. That can still allow foreign corporations to strip profits out of the United States, and U.S. corporations can potentially escape U.S. tax by inverting and switching their headquarters to foreign countries. This practice must end. President Biden is also proposing to encourage other countries to adopt strong minimum taxes on corporations, just like the United States, so that foreign corporations aren’t advantaged and foreign countries can’t try to get a competitive edge by serving as tax havens. This plan also denies deductions to foreign corporations on payments that could allow them to strip profits out of the United States if they are based in a country that does not adopt a strong minimum tax. It further replaces an ineffective provision in the 2017 tax law that tried to stop foreign corporations from stripping profits out of the United States. The United States is now seeking a global agreement on a strong minimum tax through multilateral negotiations. This provision makes our commitment to a global minimum tax clear. The time has come to level the playing field and no longer allow countries to gain a competitive edge by slashing corporate tax rates.
- Prevent U.S. Corporations from inverting or claiming tax havens as their residence. Under current law, U.S. corporations can acquire or merge with a foreign company to avoid U.S. taxes by claiming to be a foreign company, even though their place of management and operations are in the United States. President Biden is proposing to make it harder for U.S. corporations to invert. This will backstop the other reforms which should address the incentive to do so in the first place.
- Deny Companies Expense Deductions for Offshoring Jobs and Credit Expenses for Onshoring. President Biden’s reform proposal will also make sure that companies can no longer write off expenses that come from offshoring jobs. This is a matter of fairness. U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize companies shipping jobs abroad. Instead, President Biden is also proposing to provide a tax credit to support onshoring jobs.
- Eliminate a Loophole for Intellectual Property that Encourages Offshoring Jobs and Invest in Effective R&D Incentives. The President’s ambitious reform of the tax code also includes reforming the way it promotes research and development. This starts with a complete elimination of the tax incentives in the Trump tax law for “Foreign Derived Intangible Income” (FDII), which gave corporations a tax break for shifting assets abroad and is ineffective at encouraging corporations to invest in R&D. All of the revenue from repealing the FDII deduction will be used to expand more effective R&D investment incentives.
- Enact A Minimum Tax on Large Corporations’ Book Income. The President’s tax reform will also ensure that large, profitable corporations cannot exploit loopholes in the tax code to get by without paying U.S. corporate taxes. A 15 percent minimum tax on the income corporations use to report their profits to investors—known as “book income”—will backstop the tax plan’s other ambitious reforms and apply only to the very largest corporations.
- Eliminate Tax Preferences for Fossil Fuels and Make Sure Polluting Industries Pay for Environmental Clean Up. The current tax code includes billions of dollars in subsidies, loopholes, and special foreign tax credits for the fossil fuel industry. As part of the President’s commitment to put the country on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, his tax reform proposal will eliminate all these special preferences. The President is also proposing to restore payments from polluters into the Superfund Trust Fund so that polluting industries help fairly cover the cost of cleanups.
- Ramping Up Enforcement Against Corporations. All of these measures will make it much harder for the largest corporations to avoid or evade taxes by eliminating parts of the tax code that are too easily abused. This will be paired with an investment in enforcement to make sure corporations pay their fair share. Typical workers’ wages are reported to the IRS and their employer withholds, so they pay all the taxes they owe. By contrast, large corporations have at their disposal loopholes they exploit to avoid or evade tax liabilities, and an army of high-paid tax advisors and accountants who help them get away with this. At the same time, an under-funded IRS lacks the capacity to scrutinize these suspect tax maneuvers: A decade ago, essentially all large corporations were audited annually by the IRS; today, audit rates are less than 50 percent. This plan will reverse these trends, and make sure that the Internal Revenue Service has the resources it needs to effectively enforce the tax laws against corporations. This will be paired with a broader enforcement initiative to be announced in the coming weeks that will address tax evasion among corporations and high-income Americans.
These are key steps toward a fairer tax code that encourages investment in the United States, stops shifting of jobs and profits abroad, and makes sure that corporations pay their fair share. The President looks forward to working with Congress, and will be putting forward additional ideas in the coming weeks for reforming our tax code so that it rewards work and not wealth, and makes sure the highest income individuals pay their fair share.